Exchange aimed at reassuring anti-Estonian agencies, says expert
Academic Center for Baltic and Russian Studies chief Vladimir Juškin said that Russia's motive behind the spy swap could be to reassure its friends in Estonia.
“One message is aimed at illegal agencies – work in peace, we will not leave you alone if in trouble,” Juškin said.
“The second message is for private army chiefs. That army is being formed in Estonia by Moscow since many years ago and this must become the main force in a hybrid war stage. If you believe Estonian newspapers, then Dressen was busy with similar groups since 2007,” he said, adding that one can only imagine that Dressen will now become a competent and experienced curator for these groups.
When asked if Estonia received a fair trade in exchanging Aleksei Dressen for Eston Kohver, Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said Estonia wished to get back a loyal officer.
“He is a traitor and those feelings have gone nowhere. When a person has betrayed a nation then whatever the future, if there is a possibility to bring home a loyal Estonian officer, who serves Estonia earnestly, then even if the trade is Aleksei Dressen, we will bring home the Estonian officer,” Pevkur said.
Pevkur said the theory that Kohver was only abducted so Russia would have someone to trade Dressen for, is mere speculation.